US Congress moves to close Iran sanctions loophole
Peter Foster, The Telegraph – May 9, 2013
The US Congress has moved unilaterally to force Europe to tighten Iran sanctions, announcing new measures that will force EU banks and businesses to deny Iran access to euro-dominated foreign exchange reserves.
Iran appears to be pressing ahead with uranium conversion: diplomats
Tehran Times – May 8, 2013
Iran appears to be pressing ahead in using some of its uranium enriched to 20 percent to make reactor fuel, diplomats said on Monday, a step that could help buy time for diplomacy between Tehran and world powers, Reuters reported.
S. Korea-U.S. summit to push N. Korea to review policy options
Lee Joon-seung, Yonhap News Agency – May 9, 2013
The South Korea-U.S. summit that has confirmed the two countries’ goal of nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsula is expected to push Pyongyang to examine its policy options in the face of unfavorable international developments, analysts here said Thursday.
Editorial: Park’s wasted opportunity in Washington
The Hankyoreh – May 9, 2013
The stance toward North Korea policy that President Park Geun-hye and US President Barack Obama revealed at their May 7 summit was disappointing, as it represents a continuation of the failed policies of past governments. The framework is not likely to create the momentum for changing the mood on the Korean peninsula, let alone draw a solution for issues such as the North Korean nuclear weapon and missile programs.
Air Force strips 17 officers of power to launch nuclear missiles
Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times – May 8, 2013
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Air Force has quietly stripped 17 officers of the authority to order the launch of nuclear missiles. The move comes on the heels of a military review that found several failings in the officers’ unit, the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, CBS reported. In March, inspectors gave the officers the grade of “D” on their mastery of Minuteman III missile launch operations.
Opinion: The Case for Nuclear Unilateralism
Yousaf Butt, Foreign Policy – May 8, 2013
New START may be flawed, but it also holds an opportunity for Obama to do something truly momentous.
Seoul declines joining U.S.-led missile defense
Kim Eun-jung, Yonhap News Agency – May 9, 2013
The defense ministry on Thursday ruled out South Korea’s participation in the American-led missile defense system, saying it will focus on developing its own program to defend itself from North Korea’s missile threats. Whether to join a U.S.-led missile defense system involving ground-based interceptors and the X-band radar has been a prickly issue in South Korea, as it could spur a regional arms race involving China and further contribute to mounting costs in the national missile program.
U.S. Mulling Sharing Missile-Defense Data With Russia
Radio Free Europe – May 9, 2013
The head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency says the Obama administration has discussed declassifying key data on U.S. missile defense in order to provide it to Russia. Questioned by a Republican lawmaker on May 8, Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral James Syring said that he has discussed declassifying data, including the speed of interceptors, with senior Defense Department officials.
In Shift, Hill Dems Signal Green Light for East Coast Missile Shield
John T. Bennett, Defense News – May 8, 2013
Even congressional Democrats, typically less hawkish than their GOP cohorts, are beginning to talk about a proposed East Coast missile shield as if it’s a done deal. After skeptical Senate Democrats late last year shot down a House Armed Services Committee plan to build a new missile defense system on US soil, even its proponents privately called implementation something of a political longshot.